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PNP ship continues to sink; Election should be called sooner than later, Before more damage is done

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#TurksandCaicos, November 7th, 2022 – Once again, this PNP Administration continues to demonstrate that they are incapable of governing The Turks and Caicos Islands, and it is made apparent consistently through their poor decision making. Crime continues to increase; health care continues to be a concern. Additionally, the local economy continues to be plagued by high inflation, with the possibility of a recession looming within the next year. I am sure the people expected much more from a government with a mandate of 14-1.

By now we all would have seen the Premier’s release on the shuffle of his Cabinet. I am certain we all questioned this move with the removal of a minister who has proven to be a key player within his team. If we can recall, when the Premier made the decision not to have a ministry, he clearly stated that the Hon Minister of Long Bay would be the best person to take charge of government business/affairs, so why the change now, is trouble in the camp?

The removal of a young leader in our country without a good reason provided to the people, undoubtedly sends the wrong message to young inspiring politicians as well as our youths. This is concerning for the future of our country when those at the helm have no vision to prepare a place for Turks and Caicos Islanders who show aspirations in future leadership.

The people demand more than a press statement about the shuffle and need to know the reasons behind it. Hon Premier, times have changed from when you were the Chief Minister of this country. I am certain to be at the head is not easy, but your position was not awarded to you by the people to act as a selfish dictator. You are charged to make decisions that are in the best interest of the people; decisions that protect the future of our country and that protect the youths who will have to live with the decisions made today. Yet, we are left to wonder whether many of the recent decisions made by this Premier and the Governor are in the best interests of our citizens.

Hon Premier let’s be honest with the people of this country, your first two years of office has been a failure and now you are playing the blame game on your ministers, for example: going public regarding your disappointment in the delivery of E-governance, the disappointment in crime and the list goes on. I would strongly recommend you consider doing the people a favor – call an early election instead of shuffling your ministers frequently.

But we need you to address some concerns this week….

  • What does your government intend to achieve over the short/long term with this shuffle?
  • What is the current position as it relates to getting crime under control? Yes, we all know that crime is not an overnight fix. It requires all hands-on deck, but it is your duty to provide safety for each citizen, resident, and visitors alike. The people just want to feel a sense of hope that peace will be restored within our Beautiful by Nature islands.
  • What plans are in place in the event that we are impacted by a possible recession? We do not need more talk of a stimulus check because that is not a long-term fix. Your election campaign was crafted on this, and while it was exciting for a time, reality has hit hard. More mature, wise solutions are needed from you Mr. Premier.

I ask the people of this country to ask themselves, are we better off under this current government?

We, the People’s Democratic Movement, is your government in waiting and we will ensure a safer and more secure future for the people of this country.

I feel your pain my people. Your opposition party will never give up and will not stay silent.

Mr. Robert Been

PDM Deputy Leader

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Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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